Filmed on the Vanuatu Island of Tanna this epic film was written by and acted by the Yakel tribe. The first feature film to emerge from Tanna it tells of a sister’s loyalty, a forbidden love affair and the pact between the old ways and the new.

Mythic in its simplicity, the film is based on a true story that took place in 1985 and carried significant ramifications for the evolution of the Yakel tribal society which continues to follow its customs including dress and language today.

The journey to the Academy Awards started when Australian directors visited the village where the film is set and asked if they could collaborate on a film. The villagers had mostly never watched a movie. Directors Martin Butler and Bentley Dean and their families moved to the island of Tanna and for the following months worked with the village elders to come up with the story. The cast are all non actors from the village.

It is nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature Film at this year’s Academy Awards.

Tanna will screen at Māoriland Film Festival 2017 in an award winning lineup of films that stretch from Aotearoa to the Arctic.

Join us this Waitangi Day at events in Ōtaki and Wellington where we will be announcing highlights from the 2017 festival programme.

Ōtaki Māori Racing Club

Waitangi Day 2017 commemorations, hosted by Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki in partnership with the Council, will take place on Monday 6 February from 10am-4pm at the Ōtaki Māori Racecourse. The theme this year is ‘He waka eke noa’ (‘We are all in this waka together’).

Look out for the Māoriland caravan where we will be screening a selection of short films alongside the 2017 Māoriland Film Festival promo.

Te Rā O Waitangi

Te Rā O Waitangi in Wellington is a celebration of our national day with kai and kapa haka at Waitangi Park.

Māoriland Film Festival will be there on the Film Bus screening a small number of short films alongside the 2017 Māoriland Film Festival promo.